Self Directed IRA Custodian Recommendations

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@Andrew Lin

The first determination you need to make before selecting a provider is which type of plan will best suit your needs.

A self-directed IRA custodian/administrator is best if you will be making a singular more static investment with a relatively low dollar amount. Such institutions provide the necessary processing services to document non-traditional asset investments with an IRA and will act purely as the processing layer. Any time you wish to purchase an asset, pay investment related expenses or receive income, they will be involved in signing documents and handling the funds. This results in paperwork, processing delays and per-transaction fees that can add up if you are engaging in more time-sensitive assets or assets that involve a lot of transactions. Most firms also have some sort of pricing mechanism that is determined by the asset value of the account.

A Checkbook IRA LLC may be more appropriate if you are seeking to invest in assets that require more interaction. Such plans are not implemented by custodians, who are purely processing fiduciaries as noted above. Specialty firms typically referred to as IRA facilitators and advisors perform this type of legal service.

If you qualify as self-employed and have no full time employees, a Solo 401(k) is also going to provide checkbook control, and as a retirement plan has several advantages over the comparable IRA LLC. Most of the same facilitators offer such plans.

Once you have determined the best plan type for your needs get on the phone with a few providers.  Quality of service and fees vary pretty greatly - from pure document mills/marketing firms to quality advisory support that is really necessary with such plans. It should be pretty apparent to you pretty quickly, who is a quality provider and who is just selling something.